Dell Inspiron 5570 laptop too slow with Windows 11. Upgrade to M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

After upgrading the Dell Inspiron 5570 laptop to Windows 11, the big problem is the speed of the laptop. It deteriorates to the extent that it takes almost 5 minutes to boot. Each click on the desktop to open an app takes almost 30 seconds. With this performance, the laptop is virtually useless.

The laptop in it’s hey day came with 8 gb DDR4 RAM, 5400 rpm HDD and Windows 8. So, the upgrade to Windows 10 a while back, made the performance slow down, but with the Windows 11, it just was unusable. Many folks upgraded the laptop to 16 gb RAM and installed a PCIe NVMe SSD drive.

Does the Dell Inspiron 5570 support a M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD drive?

It does. The service manual specification states that it does support and M.2 PCIe 3×4 NVMe SSD: Up to 512 GB.

Based on the above specifications, the Western Digital Blue SSD model SN550 of 500 GB fitted fine for the purpose.

After fitting the SSD in the laptop, I used Macrium Reflect free to clone the partitions from the 1TB 5400 rpm HDD to the PCIe NVMe SSD. This worked well too and the partitions were automatically shrunk to fit the 500 GB capacity. After cloning, the BIOS was updated to make the SSD the first boot device. The system booted up fine. Now to the issues.

The following issues were encountered once the device was fitted into the laptop.

  1. Dell ships the laptop with RAID enabled. Using RAID with the SSD would make it slower. I changed this to AHCI and booted the laptop. There were boot errors. With Linux changing from RAID to AHCI does not cause boot errors, but making the change after installing Windows causes the laptop to crash on boot each time. Changing back to RAID, and both the SSD and the HDD can boot up properly.
  2. To get more performance from the SSD, switch to AHCI and do a full Windows 11 reinstall.
  3. To install Windows 11, set the HDD as the boot device, BIOS SATA to RAID and following this link to obtain Windows 11. Use the media creation tool to make a bootable USB. Then change the BIOS to boot from the SSD and BIOS SATA to AHCI.
  4. Boot from the USB device and install Windows 11 onto the SSD.
  5. Once Windows 11 is installed, booting from the SSD is almost instant.

Some quirks of Dell:

  1. I only get 2400 mt/s for DDR4 RAM. So, it makes no sense getting 3200 mt/s DDR4 RAM for the laptop. There is no tweak in the BIOS to enhance the speed.
  2. I only get upto 2300 mb/s read for the PCIe NVMe SSD. Using a higher performance SSD will not give more performance.
  3. There are no Dell pre-installed applications on the laptop.